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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  September 19, 2013 4:00am-5:01am EDT

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>> welcome to al jazeera. i'm stephanie sy. here are tonight's top stories. hurricane manuel is hitting the northwest coast of mexico. nearly 60 people are missing after the storm caused a mudslide wednesday. the national hurricane center said that manuel is expected to bring mor more rain. egypt tv is reporting one police officer died in an early raid on the outskirts of cairo. wall street will open this morning in record territory.
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the dow closed up 147 points wednesday. stocks spiked after the federal reserve announced it would keep its stimulus program in place. a bill would raise federal debt ceiling but block funding for president obama's healthcare plan. the president accused the g.o.p. for using extortion to get what it wants. for the latest headlines, go to www.aljazeera.com.
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[[voiceover]] every day, events sweep across our country. and with them, a storm of views. how can you fully understand the impact unless you've heard angles you hadn't considered? antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours.
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>> well, the navy yard shootings left many of us shocked outraged and horrified, a campus, should have been one of the safest places to be on a workday morning. there is one other location that understands sadly the victims. the tragedy at the sandy hook are elementary school bonded those of ne newtown, connecticut. all over again. monty frank heard it as he came into his house.
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>> what went through your mind when you heard the news? >> i'm not sure much went through my mind. i felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. i had just come back from a bike ride. and i -- living in sandy hook you ride by the school, you ride by homes of families that lost kids. it's a reminder every day to come home to hear the news that there's another shooting. >> and it's in washington. >> it's in washington. >> where you are headed. >> correct. >> frankly it's the newtown action alliance that has launched a series of demonstrations since last december. visits to capitol hill all to get lawmakers to finally act on gun control. the shootings at sandy hook elementary in which 26 people
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including 24 schoolchildren were gunned down. survivors from aurora, colorado shooting, gabrielle giffords and her supporters from other victims of gun violence would all be asking for help. >> we are all part of the same horrible club that no one wants to be in but unless we can make changes to our laws to reduce the risk there are going to be more people in communities that join this horrible club. >> it is the nine month anniversary this past weekend, nine month anniversary, here you are in washington again. >> right. >> as your group has been so many times. is it going to be different? >> i don't think it's going to be different tomorrow. it probably won't be different three weeks from now. but i think over time, it will change paws it has to change. -- because it last to change.
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i think americans are saying, enough already. we need to make the changes because the currently situation is not tolerable. >> so you believe that there's really a ground swell, something is going to move it forward. is this event, the navy yard event, will that be enough to break the impasse? will people be compelled somehow so close to the capitol, foot steps from the capitol really, will that make a difference in the way the lives of those children did not? >> i hope so. you know it's another significant event in a series of events. you know keep in mind that gabby giffords was shot. and she is now very active in the movement. and you know even though one of congress's own got shot, that isn't going to enact safety laws. but there are some things that hasn't changed since 12/14, the
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polling on background checks. since the votes went down in the senate, the senators who voted for it have seen their approval ratings skyrocket. the senators who voted against it have seen their approval ratings plummet. that tells me something. perhaps when the time is priet there's going to be efforts coming up to bring these bills back, maybe we'll see a change. >> frank says he was especially moved by the trauma center doctor who veered off the medical update script to deliver an impassioned plea to stop the violence that had once again brought too many victims to her emergency room. >> but there's something wrong here. when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries, there's something wrong. >> she was quite passionate about this. >> right. >> quite passionate.
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quite concerned. quite decisive in saying it's time for americans to act. she's not a political person. she's a decision. but she spoke out and said this is something that we have to deal with. how much does it take? >> you know she said please put me out of business. same token , i'm willing to bet that nine months ago you had never heard of sandy hook, connecticut. there isn't a person in the world who hasn't heard of sandy hook because of the shooting. >> despite the doctor's plea and in the hope that they could make a difference, frank returned to capitol hill, pigeon hoalg lawmakers -- pij holing lawmakers,. >> i would love not to be here.
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and have to talk to the legislators and tell them that they need to do something. you know, unfortunately, i think it's going to take some time, in the interim, more americans are going to die. it's a stark reality. but until we reach that point where we either make the changes that are necessary, or we change congress, and certain members of congress, we're just going to keep talking about these events. and it's horrible. irtsdz horrible for me to -- it's horrible for me to think that other communities are going ogo through what my community went -- to go through what my community went through and what the families from yesterday's event are going ogo through. >> monte frank the new town alliance making sure no one forgets. when america tonight
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why some critics say the school is setting the kids up for failure.
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>> now, a snapshot of stories making headlines on america tonight.
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in an exchange with deputy forng minister, syrian president assad offers what he considering proof of the weapons attack. investigators conclude serin gas was used and the rockets were fired likely from the syrian government's military base he. in alabama a rush of sorts, hundreds protested at the university of alabama. fraternities and sororities, some are accused of denying intrir tentry to black students. calling for change. after a big surprise from the fed, the federal reserve indicated it would keep its stimulus program in place, $83 billion per month in bond purchases and the stock market grew to record highs. focus
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of the detroit's bankruptcy case is the art collection of all things. retired workers are already worried about having a drab future. america tonight sent chris bury to sketch out detroit's future. >> the city of detroit has entered uncharted territory. small businesses wiped out, tens of thousands of vacant buildings. and a dwindling tax base. leaving droi detroit without enh money to pay its bills including billions ode to city workers pension. both 71, both retired. >> it's like the city is trying okill us all off. all the people you know, that's retired. because they're not going otake care of us like they should. >> benny spent her career
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working for the city, a more stable option for her future than the auto industry or so she thought. her retirement as it turns out is anything but stable. >> well now my world is being turned upside down. because if they cut anything away from me, i don't know how i'm going to survive. >> she now receives an $885 pension and that could be in jeopardy. detroit's bankruptcy means the city now $18 billion in debt must make the painful choices it put off for so many years. so the pensions of tens of thousands of city workers and retirees are on the line. >> i'm just praying that something happens, you know, they just leave us alone. >> that something could be found here. among the treasures of an earlier, more prosperous city. at the detroit institute of art. where an auction house is now trying to put a price on what many here consider priceless. among the 60,000 pieces here are
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the first van gogh ever acquired by an american museum. this famous monet, a work by the the flemish master breugle. >> why is it important to save this collection? >> ttys crown jewel of michigan culture. it's essential if detroit is going to recover -- >> graham beal directs the detroit institute of arts. he's working to save the art from the auction block. >> it's disturbing by a quirk of history that we have been put in this position. and although i firmly believe that the chances of anything ever been sold are very, very and so yes, it's a deep concern. >> at a diner just down the street from the museum, we met with ed mcneil. he negotiates contracts for 33 unions representing current and
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retired city workers. >> you don't say to people, that have worked so hard, you don't say to them, hey, i don't have anything for you. >> as far as he's concerned, the van goghs must go. if that's what it takes to pay the pensions. >> just a tragedy for anybody to even think you would put a piece of art over somebody's lives. >> for benny and her husband, the city's art work is a far cry from their troubles. they're more concerned about medical bills than monet. >> it's hard already i can't imagine it being hard he. >> since her husband retired in 1997. he suffers series problems. he undergoes dialysis and a couple of years ago, he lost his eyesight. >> i don't know how i would survive. i might as well have one foot in the grave.
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that's where i'd be headed if i couldn't take care of myself anymore or him. if they cut him off it's like cutting my life. it's like a sienl killer or something -- silent kimer or something -- killer or something. like everyone who's trying to retire. it would be very devastating. >> almost everything the city owns ask an asset to be sold off off. including the tunnel to 1st to 1 sor windsor, ontario and the zoo. a healthy breeding giraffe can fetch as much as $80,000. nothing is too precious to be
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sold. >> the city manager is evaluating the value of everything that detroit owes. >> law professor laura bartel says the city has to show everything in this case. >> does the city manager need to say there are no sacred cows? >> he last to show everything. >> including cuts for city's beleaguered police force, when it takes them an hour to respond to a 9/11 call, the fire department could get trimmed. it's a new low for what was the heart and soul of america's automobile industry. the detroit grady remembers so well before he lost his eyesight. still he's convinced, detroit could come back. >> don't give up. don't abandon ship. we're not going to give up, we're going okeep pushing.
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that's life itself. >> even though grady is not able to see the contraction in the sidewalk, he and his wife and friends know detroit is not the same city it was, when diego rivera painted it 80 years ago. the assets could be auctioned off, to pay the bills that have been too long neglected. >> that report from correspond chris bury leads us to consider what can save detroit? university of michigan professor of law and bankruptcy expert john pottow joins us. could they add up to be enough to save detroit even though you sold every asset the city has? >> i don't know, joie. i think that would be a pretty optimistic scenario.
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i'm not an art appraiser. i don't know how much that would pay off. we're talking about $18 billion, plus or minus. to give you an idea of perspective, in a good year detroit could raise about a a billion in tax revenue. firing every police officer and spending nothing on services to pay off, this is a huge economic hole that has to be dug out of. >> talk to us about the procedural things that are hang now. there is a mediation underway and then tomorrow there is an opportunity for people like mrs. boatner to speak out to the court. >> that's right. two big things are happening in the case right now. the first is that one of the major costs are the labor costs, pensions, benefits and the financial manager is asking for serious concessions. the bankruptcy judge has asked the labor groups, retirees to sit down and mediate to see if they can come up with consensual
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modification of this rather than litigation. the second thing going on is those workers that we heard from are protected, some argue, you about a provision of the michigan constitution. which says that pension benefits cannot be altered. i'm paraphrasing. and so their position is that this chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding is legally invalid if the purpose of it is to cut the pension benefits. and they have launched an objection to the very eligibility of detroit to file the bankruptcy. the judge has scheduled the first hearing on that argument tomorrow. >> but as a practical matter, your emergency manager up there, kevin orr, isn't it his contention that constitutionality or not constitutionality, as a practical matter you can't solve this without getting into the pension money.
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>> yes. this goes to the first principle of bankruptcy, you can't draw blood from a stone. despite what is owed, detroit doesn't have any money to pay. we could see a political move of asking for some back stop financing from the state or even the federal government. but there's no legal argument or nothing in the bankruptcy code that can generate money to help pay these obligations. so it is difficult to envision a scenario in which this city is restructured without there being some modification and reduction to the bengs benefits. >> there are other -- pension benefits. >> there are other communities that have experienced bankruptcy. is there anything at this level, anything like detroit or is this a completely unique situation? >> no, detroit is unique. this is a four-times larger than next largest bankruptcy and the amount of debt and the difficulties facing the city particularly, the massive depopulation that's occurred in the latter part of the century
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is something we haven't seen before. so the issues of the pensions is going to be one of the hardest ones and the health care benefits too. and making things particularly bad, it's important you understand this, all workers for private sector companies like airlines and retailers, we assure something, the bengs benefit guarantee corporation steps in like pension insurance. the loophole is being public agencies do not have that insurance. if the default is present. >> dr. john pottow, we'll ask you to day tuned and give us more information as it comes on. coming up, buying in on obama >> back here in washington a
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spending showdown on capitol hill. house republicans say they will pass a budget bill to avert a government shut down but will strip out funding for the president's health care reform law. funding is to run out about two weeks from now. house speaker john boehner set, they have no interest in seeing the government shut down but they won't fund obamacare. >> we're going ocontinue to do everything we can to repeal the president 's failed health care law. this week the house will pass a
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cr that locks the sequester savings in and defunds obamacare. >> not since the korean war has the federal government reduced spending two years in a row. we aim to make that happen. and we aim to put a stop to obamacare before it costs one more job, or raises a family's out of pocket expenses one more dollar. and this fight will continue as we negotiate the debt limit with the president and the senate. in the coming weeks we will unveil, in the coming week we will unveil a plan that extends the nation's abled to borrow while delaying obamacare and protecting milt class families from its horrific effects. >> while lawmakers on the hill square off over this funding of obamacare, the debate has been less divisive, in colorado, where lawmakers have come
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together to implement part of the plan . smfn sheila macvicar reports. >> a website fossnow believes will help health care. >> where individuals and companies can purchase health care. >> part of colorado's effort to implement the affordable care act, also known as obamacare. >> if you and your family are assured, you can see your options all in one place with one application. >> you don't have to put in anything but a few pieces of information and we'll show you your plans. if you say this looks good i want to move forward then we're going to ask you some additional information around where you live, whether or not you smoke,
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if you're pregnant and your age. >> under bowblg many americans will -- obamacare many americans will get health care through websites like fontanou's. the federal government can have one but states can also set up their own. many supporters for obamacare point to colorado as a model for other states. it will offer up to 100 different plans from ten different companies. >> you ask me for biggest challenge and that one's going to be tough. certainly the technology but also the education. just how many people in our state know who we are? >> zoe williams and her partner patrick kelso, plan to check out the exchange. williams is pregnant with her first child.
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williams has a health care, doesn't cover all she like. all plans must provide services deemed essential to a woman's health. >> they range from well screenings and mental health cnch. contraception and breast feeding supplies and support. >> it is certainly true that investments in health promotes and primary care will reduce health care costs. >> gretchen runs a health service for the medically underserved. >> it allows people to be at their very best health, to go out and pursue education, to pursue the job they wish, so it has a ripple on health communities and health colorado. >> besides setting up an
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exchange colorado is going along with another part of the president's plans. colorado is expanding eligibility for medicaid, the government program that provides free health care for the poor. >> craig burlson is a director of the intercity health care a company in denver who provides individuals. >> if you can afford it you get it, if you can't afford it, you don't. >> a flow of patients burlson says has increased in the last few years. >> we have a vast number of below wage earners. the young invincibles their category of 18 to 24 to 36. they're a population of young people who are savvy highly sophisticated in the modern information technology world and so they see themselves differently but they don't have
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insurance. >> everybody who's treated here is asked to pay something. but for low income patients even modest amount can make for tough choices. for many, the medicaid expansion will cover that fee. >> we've experienced in recent years that people are coming to us later. which means they come to us sicker which means that's more complicated and if you are going to look at the cost equation, that's more expensive. if they have coverage tomorrow that means they will come in more readily. >> mage is a volunteer and also a patient. >> i don't like to be a person of reduced circumstances but i am certainly grateful that there are programs in place to assist me. and some people that need much more assistance than i do. they have health issues that have to be addressed. so what are you going to do? are you going to go to their
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house and tell them that we're just going to roll you into a ditch and you figure it out the best way you know how? >> no doubt colorado's embrace of obamacare, for others it is creating a big dilemma and the state exchange is one of the things complicating matters. alan luzetti is between a rock and ohard place. in the cramped office on the edge of denver, he turns paper documents into digital media. he still provides a full time plan for his employees. >> it is not a superhigh deductible but it's comprehensive in my opinion. >> as a small employer, luzetti isn't required to provide any of his employees heat insurance but
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if he does, he has to provide them to his part timers. >> i can stay on the plan i am on, as the new employees qualify pick up the cost and put them on the company plan. the other option is to stop offering health care. employees, the state has an alternative, go ahead and buy your own. >> in other words, it would be cheaper for luzetti to dump all his employees on connect colorado than to keep providing insurance. >> a lot of them are saying forget it, i'm out of the insurance business let the exchange take care of them. >> many fear that would happen. in 2011, in response to a survey by mckenzie and company 30% of the employers said they would definitely or probably stop offering insurance after 2014. it wasn't just small companies either. recently reported that walmart
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is taking steps to limit health insurance to reduce its cost under obamacare. >> it makes for a long night when you are thinking about what comes next and not only for my system but some of my employees i've got three employees that have been with me for a decade. >> despite his predickable luzetti said overall colorado did a reasonable job when it comes to implementing obamacare. colorado's new plan says 600,000 people who are now unassured uninsured will be covered. >> alan luzetti has decided that he will keep offering his employees insurance, for the time being but if it gets too expensive he may cancel the plan. still ahead on america
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tonight, is buying a home easier than before? coming up thursday on america tonight, it is the only church in the world that caters to the entertainment community. >> i think the actor will pray for success in their craft. they've learned to sacrifice so bad, i've seen the struggle the actor has been engaged in, trying okeep life normal just to be able to pursue this craft, is incredible. >> we visit what the broadway community considers an a-list chapel, the actors chapel. that's all i have an real money.
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victoria azarenko
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gripping films, from the worlds top documentary directors >> this is just the beginning of somthing much bigger... >> this sunday...the premier of "do the math" >> these companies are a rogue force... >> one environmentalist says fossil fuels equal disaster... will his movement add up add up to change? >> we will fight it together... al jazeera america presents... "do the math" premiers this sunday 9 eastern. >> finally from us tonight a look at the housing market which is slowly waking from a long slumber. but that doesn't mean it's a buy are's market either. al jazeera's natasha
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ginane reports. >> this is an example of luxury miami style. this is ready for the taking if you have $35 million. whether you're a part of the 1% or the 99%, buyers in miami-dade county are facing fears competition. >> it's hot, getting hotter and hopefully get to a sizzle. >> alex and nicole had already been burned six times in the last year. they were getting matter in the spring -- married in the spring, and were envisioning buying their first home. each time they lost out to an all cash buyer. >> it's frustrating. here we are two 81 people trying to start a life together with a thinking about the future and it's just like, a punch in the face. >> those cash buyers include private equity investors who are buying up homes to turn into rental properties.
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that means there just aren't a lot of homes for sale. >> in the last scum of years in miami-dade county our inventory have increased by 80%, the price have increased 19 to 20%, that's just in two years and they're increasing still. >> some people are back into the house-flipping gain. annie sierra mate a $200,000 profit on a condo she owned two years many then she shaved $40,000 off the asking price of this house because she had the leverage of buying with cash. >> i know my outcome and where i could be for a year. >> as for sardino and cano, they got a call from their realtor. they finally landed this new home. >> i guess i couldn't really feel the success of everything i've accomplished in my life until i was like okay, open the
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door, this is my home, i own this. >> whether it's a starter or a luxury home, people here are learning that waiting can cost them. if they see a home they want three better pounce before someone comes along with a better off. natasha dunane, al jazeera, miami-dade county. >> that is it for us tonight. if you want to comment about any of our stories, log on to aljazeera.com/america tonight. tell us what you want to see in our nightly current affairs program. also, join the conversation with us at twitter or our facebook page. good night, we'll see you tomorrow.
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egyptian security forces storm a cairo neighborhood arresting 48 people and looking for dozens of others. hello, and welcome. you're watching al jazeera live from dohdoha. >> translator: we have not pursued our sought a nuclear and won't do it. >> iran's new president promises his country won't seek a nuclear

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